Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/913/23427
Train fares to rise again - nationalise railways now!
Sick of getting into work feeling like a two-day-old used face wipe? Well soon you will have to pay an extra 1.9% for the privilege. Regulated rail fares will rise again next year in line with this year's 'RPI' inflation figures.
On the Birmingham to London line a season ticket will cost an extra £190 on all available routes.
While Southern Rail boss David Brown swans around with notes from his £2.16 million wage packet spilling out of his pocket, the rest of us have to jangle our coins and learn to live in a stranger's armpit on a daily basis.
The UK has the highest transport prices in Europe. Fares have increased at twice the rate of average wages since 2010 - 25% versus 12%, according to the TUC. At the same time, shareholders have had a 21% increase in their dividends. Meanwhile there are less ticket offices, major station understaffing, and driver-only trains.
The problem of fares, of course, goes hand in hand with the housing crisis, as workers have to travel ever longer commutes. For part-time workers, mainly women, it's even worse: season tickets are only cheaper if you commute - and earn - five or more days a week.
Jeremy Corbyn calls for nationalisation, which he estimates would take 10% off fares. This is welcome. But Jeremy needs to go further.
His plan is to take over firms as their franchises run out. We say nationalise immediately - and pay compensation to shareholders only on the basis of proven need. Nationalise the buses at the same time, and invest in a fully staffed and integrated, cheap, green public transport network.
In The Socialist 24 August 2016:
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